Ephesians 5 – Simple Bible Study (Part 1)
Welcome to our very first Bible study at The Simple Mission blog. This bible study on Ephesians 5 and future studies will be in a series called “Simple Bible Study“. We know that when people read “bible study”, they instantly get nervous and almost guilty to not know how to do a study on the bible. That is why we added “Simple” to Bible Study. We do not want anyone to ever feel like they cannot read the Bible on their own without help.
We tend to overcomplicate so much with God and our faith, especially with reading the Bible and knowing what it says. But, God wants for us to show up with a humble heart and mind open to His Holy Spirit, and He will guide us. It’s that simple.
Anyways, we pick out one chapter and It’s Ephesians 5 (part 1). Why only one chapter? Well, this is our first time we are attempting a Bible study through our blog and we are excited & nervous to do so. But, we feel God pressing on our hearts to do more with The Simple Mission and that starts with reading the Bible and gaining a better understanding of who God is and who we are called to be as believers.
Obviously, looking at the whole book of Ephesians can be a bit daunting, so that is why we are going to keep it simple and break it down by focusing on one chapter, a few bite-sized verses each to study on.
Here is our first Simple Bible Study from us and we pray & hope you enjoy this and grow closer to the Lord through this study.
Here we go.
Ephesians 5 Study is broken into two-parts. This is Part 1.
To make this easier to study, we are going to break it up into chunks for us to focus on. This will be part-one of two-parts of Ephesians 5. Here are the verses.
Part One will include:
Part Two will include:
For the first half of Ephesians 5, we used a reference/commentary to help to guide us. We are not experts or Bible teachers- we are simply people that are chasing God of the Word and want to learn more about Him and what He says about us and how we are called to serve Him.
Here is the further commentary on Ephesians 5 if you are interested!
There were three main ideas and you will see it broken down between each sections of Ephesians 5: Love, Light, and Wisdom.
Ephesians 5:1-7 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them…”
God is love. We have heard this phrase many times. But, often we just do not understand what God’s love truly is and what that means for us as Christians.
The love of God is summed up in just one huge example: because Christ loved us so much, He gave Himself up for us, as a sacrifice. If we are called to imitate God like Paul says, we are called to give ourselves as a living sacrifice for God. We are called to like God, to be “imitators of God”, but we have to know what that entails to better understand & walk in love. We are not called to live life to our wants and desires, but rather, to be like Christ and to deny ourselves.
Before we list out the wrong attributes that “should not be named among you”, those who are in Christ, we just want to say this. Even though these attributes, qualities, or sins are wrong, if you are currently in the midst of these things and you are a new believer in Christ or do not really know how to live as a follower of Christ, it is okay. We are all working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). What truly matters is what you do starting from this moment going forward.
Here are the characteristics of what is not imitating God or His love: sexual immorality, all impurity, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talk, and crude joking.
What is important to remember and highlight here is this is not just a list of things not to do that you can check off. It is how the Holy Spirit is doing His work in you, changing you and sanctifying you from the inside out, starting in your heart. It is through the revelation of the love of Jesus that you are called to be who He made you to be, with Christ living in you!
Whenever you live in and by the Spirit, those characteristics will begin to melt away or you won’t want to keep doing or saying those things any longer. Because all of those things are not of Christ.
So, what do you do from here? Begin by giving thanks. Giving thanks to God is the opposite of living for yourself and the old characteristics or ways of living you once had. No one who practices these characteristics of being “sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater)” will enter God’s kingdom. It is like we said, because they did not have the true revelation of Christ and they do not have the Holy Spirit living in them.
Paul states a warning for people deceiving others and leading others astray, leading them to a false idea and truth. Especially people who say you can do all these dark things and still make it into heaven or if you are at least a good person, then God will still love you and welcome you.
All of these phrases are twisted and are diverting people from the real truth of the Gospel, which can be wrapped up in this one phrase in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” And, in order to believe in Jesus Christ and what He has done, we should follow in His footsteps of love and in the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:8-14 “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
What does it mean to walk as children of the light? When you were a child, as we all once were, we had that innocence about us and our understanding from right and wrong was very clear (for some of us it was, haha). Life was simple as a child, the world was very big and we would cling to Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa when things “got rough”. We had that child-like faith that our parents would take care of us, feed us and put a roof above our heads.
When we are in the light of the Lord and life gets tough or difficult, we can cling to Lord our Father. We can spread that light by doing what is good, right and true in the eyes of our peers, family, friends and those we influence.
Because we have that revelation of what God did for us we have the desire to tell others about how our Father has been there for us, taken care of us and suffered the ultimate sacrifice, death.
The flip side to walking in the light is doing that is bad, wrong and lying. In verse 11, it is made very clear on taking no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.
Throughout history in the bible, there are many accounts when God’s chosen people or an individual would take part in darkness. The aftermath is they all would have difficult and sometimes tragic times. When God’s chosen people or an individual were living in God’s light, there would still be tough times but the Lord was still there, pouring out His blessings on them.
Of course, it is never easy doing what is right sometimes, especially when the world celebrates it. But, it is so worth it in the end.
If you are reading this and are being tempted with the darkness: heed our word and turn away from it right now. Tell someone. Go to church or go back to church. Get into the Word. Turn down that party invitation or the hook-up session. Two short letters can save you an immense amount of headache and time: No.
In the end, everything will eventually come into the light and be exposed for what it is or what you are doing. Sometimes we think we can be clever, finding loopholes in the Bible or trying to outsmart God, the law, your parents, family members, friends or loved ones.
But anything that is exposed to the light will be visible for all to see. And when it becomes visible, brought into the light. When you tell someone, or it’s exposed, it becomes light. And God already knows everything about you. But He wants you to be the one to humble yourself and give it up into His light.
If you share your secret sins to trusted family members, church leaders, or an older, wiser Christian person, this can help you get out of the darkness and step into God’s light, giving those secret sins over to God. Even though this may be painful and uncomfortable, you are allowing Jesus to shine and reign in your life, and turn away from darkness.
You never know what will happen when you give up your secret sins; your life may change forever and you will not hide anymore but you will be free to live, in His light. God is light and in Him there is no darkness. (1 John 1:5)
Ephesians 5:15-21 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
When you read those first three verses, what comes to mind? There is a lot to unpack in the first two short verses. Let’s look at it in the opposite perspective: we are NOT called to be unwise. We are NOT called to be foolish.
Here is a definition of a fool: a person lacking judgment or prudence; one who is victimized; one lacking common sense or understanding; thoughtless, ignorant, stupid, tricky or deceiving.
We know that some of those words are harsh and they are in their own respect. But, the Word is truth, and God knows the truth because He is the author of truth. He knows us because He has created us in His own image, but He also knows our hearts and minds can be so fickle and can easily wander without stopping to take a look around.
God wants us to look at how we walk, and He wants us to do this carefully. Every action, every step we take, every word we say, the movies, shows, news, and clips that we watch all have a consequence.
The consequence is how we spend our time, and if we are using our precious gift of time wisely, to discern what is right and wrong for us.
The Bible says that everything is permissible, but everything is not good for you…
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
Then, it may be strange, but it says “the days are evil”. What does that mean for us? What this means is that it can be easy for us to get caught up in this world and what everyone else is doing is that we fall into the trap of evil, little by little. This is why we are called to be self-aware and discerning on everything that we do or say.
Or, in other words, to be “circumspect” which means: be cautious, look around, take careful consideration of all circumstances and desires to avoid mistakes and bad consequences. This is what Paul is talking about in terms of “look carefully then how you walk” especially in these days that are evil, where everything that the world says is good is bad for us and vice versa.
Even though it states “making the best use of the time”, it does not solely mean to plan your days better with a planner or a bullet journal or to simply get your life organized with routines and schedules in place.
That was what I (Lianna) thought initially when I first read those verses in Ephesians 5. But, we are called to read to reflect and know God, not just ourselves. And, God is three in one: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. With time, we are called to use our time wisely, carefully, and diligently and to the best of our ability and advantage as the Holy Spirit is leading us.
If we live our lives trying to make the best use of OUR time, then we are living on our own and in a selfish manner. Remember Paul’s warning that the days are evil. It’s especially easy to fall quickly into the pattern of the ways of the world versus what the Holy Spirit wants.
Time is a gift from God; if we wake up in the morning, God has woken us up to live another day of purpose. He does not want for us to waste time, worried and fearful about the world, failing, and people’s opinions. He wants us to use the time wisely, not to squander it for the good of serving Christ and His Kingdom. And, He wants us to enjoy and love the lives that He has given to us.
And, then to understand God’s will… that can be a really tough one for many people, Christians included. Well, for starters, you won’t understand the will of God until you read and gain knowledge of the Bible itself. The Bible is the ultimate way and guide that points to God Himself and with instructions on how to live our lives: to follow Christ and His Will.
We are called to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our hearts have to be aligned with God through the reading of the Scriptures, staying rooted in prayer, and staying committed to a local church. Only the Holy Spirit can make the change you need in your life if you are wanting to start today.
In verse 18, alcohol and wine is brought up in a very short yet powerful verse. How many stories or times have you heard of someone or perhaps yourself say, “There was one time when I was drunk…” and the next words that are spoken are never good and do not mention God at all.
When you are out of control of yourself, whether that’s through using drugs or alcohol, how can you listen or talk to God if you cannot form a sentence. You and I both know that nothing good comes from being drunk or under the influence of drugs. So, I ask you: why put yourself in a situation that 1.) it can hurt your body and 2.) it could potentially harm someone’s life in the process?
The next part of the verse is very simple and amazing, it says “but be filled with the spirit.” Instead of filling your body with alcohol and drugs that will harm your body, why wouldn’t you want to be filled with Jesus and the Holy Spirit?
Life is brought back into your body and others will be able to tell because how you act will change, the way you talk, and the way you look at life itself will drastically change as well.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
In verses 19-21, it talks about praising the Lord with others, building each other up, celebrating the wins in life and praying for the struggles that others may be going through. Also, it highlights on celebrating community and love in this life as well as into eternity with Jesus in heaven.
Humility is crucial in living life for God because it allows you to give thanks for what God has done for you and what He is doing in your life and the lives of others. Living a humble life like Jesus lived is the best way to live.
Did you enjoy this study?
We hope that you loved this new series for our blog, Simple Bible Study. We know that Part 1 of Ephesians 5 was a bit long, but there was so much truth in these few verses that we could not help but to share what we have learned, researched, and read about!
Let us know what your favorite parts were, the verses, any insights or comments that you might have. Part 2 of the second half of Ephesians 5 will be released soon, so be sure to follow us for that!
Thank you for reading,